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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91813 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Rethinking Imprisonment in Washington State - Critical Public Policy Choices
Corporate Author: 407 Lowman Building
Washington Council of Crime and
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 52
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report assesses the status of corrections in Washington State, examines prison population projection data and proposed construction projects, and challenges the 'incarcerative presumption' by considering various public policy alternatives, notably sentencing reform.
Abstract: This report was prompted by the adoption of a draft 'Policy Statement Concerning Prison Construction' by the Board of Directors of the Washington Council on Crime and Delinquency on December 1, 1982. This policy statement advocates the limited use of imprisonment for dangerous offenders and the use of community programs for other offenders. This report considers and expands upon a number of issues summarized in the policy statement. A portrayal of Washington State corrections considers Department of Corrections' structure and current correctional capacity and population. In the section on projecting prison population and current construction plans, it is reported that the State's prisons experienced a net population increase of 97 persons per month during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1982. The prison population forecast for the Governor's Interagency Criminal Justice Work Group is reported to project nearly a doubling of the total prison population of 9,124 by the end of fiscal year 1995. This report argues that the incarcerative presumption, which is implicit if not explicit in the State's correctional policy, must be challenged on the bases of effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and humaneness. The Sentencing Guidelines Commission's recommendation that violent offenders be incarcerated for longer sentences while less serious offenders receive sanctions that deemphasize total confinement is advocated. The report further advises that national research has demonstrated that prison overcrowding cannot be successfully addressed through additional prison construction. Tabular data and 43 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Prison construction; Prison overcrowding; Prison population prediction; Sentencing reform; Washington
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